Through green energy acquisition, SME's become members of a points program that rewards the best practices actions to reduce GHG emission.
We understand the complexity of making a small business grow, involves daily several challenges, nevertheless these SMEs make up 98.2% of businesses in Canada. While studies show that 8 out of 10 SMEs see sustainability as an important factor in the company's reputation and purpose, profit-making actions are always a top priority in a business and that's our challenge: to make environmental actions to become a part of a company's priorities.
When these actions do not represent a long-term return investment, but a low-cost investment with high and immediate return, we will see Ontario’s small and medium-sized businesses motivated to work reducing their emissions as a high priority. We believe that with technology and relationship programs it is possible to create mechanisms that eliminate complexity and can bring benefits to the entire business chain and especially to the environment in Ontario.
The electricity tariff is already a fixed cost in every company monthly bills. Our main idea is to use this already existing cost to finance a GHG emission reduction program that provides clean energy to SME´s. Basically we'll install solar panels in SME's for free, they just need to become member of our Rewards Club and pay for the electricity consumed, this electricity will also cost them lesser than purchasing power from the grid. The technology from our solar panels can collect consumer behavior data and apply a Business Intelligence analysis to identify opportunities, partnerships and improvements.
At the same time, in a digital platform we'll be running a rewards program, where SME's can access several courses, webinars, workshops and actions to help to reduce even more the carbon emission, for example: a week program to reduce paper use in a office. Each activity performed will generate POINTS for the company, this points can be exchanged for benefits, stamps and awards to the business, like for example a great discount to renew the fleet for electric cars.
How do you know that your solution is desirable to SMEs, and will reduce GHG emissions?
As well presented in this contest overview, small businesses often lack the technical expertise to evaluate and assess options for reducing emissions. Also, to invest a great amount of money in sustainable actions can be difficult for small and medium business, for this reason we decided to provide a solution that would also benefit businesses financially in a first approach, this way our strategy is to guarantee that the idea is desirable and with fast adhesion by users.
Unlike many other jurisdictions, Ontario’s electricity is not a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. However, Ontario’s recent increase in electricity prices is an important concern for SMEs and decreasing electricity use remains a priority. Thinking about this scenario, we developed a project that will not only provide a cleaner energy to businesses, even more, the project aims to provide a complete solution to mitigate Greenhouse gas emission in small and medium businesses, like reducing packaging, decreasing paper use, diverting waste and others through education and benefits.
The study "200 Million Tonnes of Opportunity" produced by Climate Smart shows us that Small/ medium-sized businesses are motivated by education, improving their company brand and cutting costs. Is also presented in this report, how some small actions can benefit this companies. (source: https://bit.ly/2NB4ivX)
FREE SOLAR PLANT INSTALLATION
Our proposal fits perfectly into existing practices, because it will be possible to access solar energy without being necessary to invest money into solar plants, set up charges or implementation of bi-derectional meter fee's. No team or skilled professional in the SME's to run the program will be necessary, any person or team interested can request the program in their businesses. Our system can be also integrated to the NET METERING PROGRAM or just provide energy to the building.
EDUCATION AS A REWARDS PROGRAM
Inspired by the marketing strategy of loyalty programs to retain clients and guarantee recurring sales, we will run a points program to reward best activities inside SME´s. In our loyalty program the "product" is education, workshops and GHG reduction challenges in our digital platform, our "costumer" can choose which product to consume according with their necessity. Each time they prove results using our products, some points will accumulate.
Gamification is a serious and qualified system, companies are boosting innovation, building effective marketing campaigns and driving value by using the mechanics of digital gaming. Accenture has made a paper that says: "participation in a popular business initiative needs to be not only enticing and rewarding but also engaging and fun—more than a bit, in fact, like playing a game."
What actions do you propose?
Our proposal is a project that groups three different actions to offer a complete solution in order to massively reduce GHG emissions:
1. SOLAR ENERGY: We have developed here in Brazil a solar panel as Plug & Play model that gives an easy installation process and feasibility of solar power plants projects in the most diverse types of buildings.
2. IoT: Connected to this installation we will apply a data reading hardware that we are also developing, this device can read and understand how much each electrical equipment is consuming of electricity. This hardware will control all consumer micro-generation, storage and energy expenditure - ECM (Electricity Control & Management). In this way we will be able to extract data and make analysis of efficiency improvement of energy consumption, we can also define what types of benefits we can offer in our points program using a data-driven approach to brands and organizations.
3. REWARDS PROGRAM: We will provide all our software and hardware knowledge to install solar plants in SME's that are interested to be a part of the program. This companies don't need to pay for the infrastructure, they will use and pay for the monthly electrical consumption but they don't own the solar plant. This way SME's become a member of the CLUBWATT and can participate on our points program (WattRewards).
Participating companies in the program will accumulate points according they improve their energy consumption and according they achieve other milestones proposed by the program. In a strategy of gamification, it will be available in digital platform, some courses, workshops and challenges that encourage the reduction of emission of gases through different small actions, working with all employees and stakeholders. SME's accumulated points can be exchanged for benefits and rewards.
Who will take these actions?
ClubeWatt is a startup that is already being developed in Brazil and will be running for all kind of consumers until the end of this year. Our proposal can be totally adjusted to Ontario SME's Program as we described above and it would be necessary to prepare some local professionals to realize the solar plants installations.
We have expertise in renewable energy software and hardware and we can lead this actions in Ontario with the help of some Mentors or a Ontario Partner to guide us to fit the project into the Local Electrical Legislation.
Where will these actions be taken?
We will begin with the pilot implementation program in Toronto, as it is the largest city and this way will be possible to test different possible obstacles faster. However the idea is to apply the project throughout all Ontario and can be expanded to all Canada.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
Costs are considered for implementation, in the second phase the project will be already profitable and can pay for it costs.
Power Plants: $100.000
Marketing: $ 5.000
Software Development: R$ 50.000
Professionals Involved: $ 50.000
Once the solution is built and implemented describe a path forward for it to scale to other users/companies.
As our business model relies heavily on data extraction, so the greater is the number of participating companies, the more data we have to enrich our research and use this information for good negotiations with institutions, big companies and public sectors, bringing improvements to this circular system that we are creating.
We understand that the first year is for validation of the business model, where we will implement the first photovoltaic plants in early adopters companies. Once this validating process is complete we can start the expansion phase, where we will open for SME's registration.
Our digital platform can be scale everywhere and our hardware is easy to install and preparing local professionals to install, our concern to an exponencial expanding is only based on the capacity to finance a greater quantity of power plants at the same time. That's why we plan to open for subscription and validation on how each SME can be a part of the program.
How will your solution lead to change on a larger scale over time (i.e. 3 to 5 years out)? How many businesses can potentially be affected by your solution?
In 5 years we hope to have self-sufficient renewable energy companies with engaged professionals, implementing waste separation, recycling, paper economy, organic composting and the most diverse subjects that involve the sustainability of our environment.
As we see this project as a private and public partnership in the future, not only Medium and Small business will be involved but big organizations would be attached to the program as partners of the Rewards Program, some stakeholders providing challenges and education and others providing rewards.
What business and funding model have you considered for your solution to become sustainable?
In the first phase of implementation of ClubWatt the revenue will come through the payment of membership to the club and the payment of the electricity consumption of our photovoltaic plants. As the project progresses and the rewards program (Watt Rewards) is running, our primary source of revenue will be based on projects and business actions developed with partners, opportunities generated through data analysis.
"Energy is profitable business, but the world's most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data."
What impact will the proposed actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
According to ClimateSmart reports, it's estimated that total emissions from Canadian SMEs to be more than 200 million tonnes of CO2 e, nearly 30% of the national total and also considering that Ontario is Canada's most populous province and is the second-largest province in total area. In a easy math we could consider that just Ontarios SMEs represent on average 76 mi tons of CO2 in emissions.
Seeing only the first stage of our project which will be the photovoltaic systems installation and taking into account an average of a system that generates: 500kWh / month: 500kWh / month x 0.08kg / kWh = 40kgCO? / month
In this example, 40kg of GHG is no longer emitted on a monthly basis. Moreover, throughout its useful life (at least 25 years), a photovoltaic system will prevent the emission of 1 ton of CO?. Just considering the lifetime program of only 1 business participant of the program and not counting all the other measures that our Rewards program will provide together.
What are other key benefits?
Our program aims at a complete approach to the GHG emission factors, by educating and training SME's employees, managers and stakeholders, we will be reaching a large part of Ontario's population, this is directly connected and reflects on the society as a whole, providing a huge impact.
About the Authors
Daniel Seleme Dora, CEO and founder of ClubeWatt. Specialist in technology solutions and business development, Master in Business Development from Universidade do Vale dos Sinos (BR) and Université de Poitiers (FR), he has been working in the research and development market for more than 15 years, as mentor in Start- ups and serial entrepreneur. Actively involved in the third sector, Daniel is the executor and mentor of several social projects, among them, Laudelina, finalist project in the Social Impact of Google 2016 and PLP2.0, winner project of several prizes like Google Social Impact 2014 and Tela Viva Mobile 2016 prize.
Caroline Mallmann Scossi, Product Manager of ClubeWatt. Graduated in Social Communication from Universidade do Vale dos Sinos (BR) - Advertising - has been heavily involved in developing and deploying product/services solutions for renewable energy access.
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